By the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA), SPARC Europe, the European University Association (EUA) and the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER)


Following the European Parliament’s adoption of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market on 26 March 2019, the Council of Ministers of the European Union has now also voted in favour of the text.

The text will enter into force in the coming weeks, once it is published in the Official Journal. This will be followed by a period of two years in which Member States must make the relevant changes to national laws.

Libraries in Europe have engaged strongly in shaping this important piece of legislation to ensure that it fulfils its promise of harmonising Europe’s copyright law and updating it to the digital environment. We have benefitted from the constant support of a number of Members of the European Parliament, whose work has allowed major progress to be made.

While important progress has been made for the library, cultural heritage, research sector and educational sectors, key flaws remain. Articles 15 (11 before the renumbering) and 17 (13 before renumbering) raise important challenges to the freedom of expression and freedom of access to information.

Yet discussions are far from over. Work at the national level will be essential if Europe’s libraries are to get the best out of this legislative text has to offer. We, regional and international library and research organisations, look forward to assisting our members in this task. Our first step will be to establish a discussion list for those involved in lobbying on the implementation of this Directive at national level, about which we will notify separately.

For more detailed information, read the analysis prepared by: IFLA: The EU Copyright Reform: Battles Won, Bullets Dodged, and the Questions that Remain; LIBER: New European Copyright Directive: A Detailed Look; EBLIDA: Long Read : Final stretch for the Digital Single Market Directive and EBLIDA Newsletter April 2019; SPARC Europe: A new Copyright Legislation for Europe. How will this impact Open Access?; EUA: EU Copyright Directive: EUA cautious about adopted agreement